Thursday, July 24, 2008

Exclusive: Our correspondent reports from Berlin

The Red Electric’s Berlin correspondent (and bureau chief), Elizabeth (“Lizi” to us) Zach, got to today's Obama rally early enough to push herself to the front of a crowd estimated to number 200,000.

“I was literally 200 feet from Obama,” she writes. “The man has magnetism and charisma, indeed.” (Her photo shows just how close she was to feel the attraction.)

She describes Obama’s speech as resonating with the crowd when he quoted the German statesman Ernst Reuter: "Berlin, the world is watching you!"

She reports, “The crowd went especially wild when he spoke of the world's coming together to solve the grave environmental problems facing us, and when he spoke of the struggle against torture — two global issues dear to Germans.”

Obama’s reference to the Berlin Airlift also won accolades from the crowd, she writes.

Lizi has lived in Germany for several years and has suffered through America’s fall into disrepute under the Bush Administration.

She concludes her brief dispatch with what seems to be a sense of relief — “It felt truly good to be an American today.”

P.S. Up-to-the-minute coverage like this doesn’t come cheap. Lizi expressed an interest in the 1957 Penguin edition of the “Middle East Crisis,” which I wrote about earlier in the week. It is being sent to her as compensation for her incisive and timely reporting.

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